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Ethical considerations in industry-sponsored Multiregional clinical trials


  • This article represents the views of the authors, and not necessarily the positions of their respective companies or affiliations.

  • This article is published in Pharmaceutical Statistics as a special issue on Multi-regional Clinical Trials–What are the challenges?, edited by Sue Jane Wang, Office of Biostatistics, Office of Translational Sciences, CDER, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, MD, USA


During the last several decades, the scientific and ethics communities have addressed important ethical issues in medical research, resulting in the elaboration and adoption of concepts, guidelines, and codes.

Ethical issues in the conduct of Multiregional Clinical Trials have attracted significant attention mainly in the last two decades. With the globalization of clinical research and the rapid expansion to countries with a limited tradition of biomedical research, sponsors must proactively address local ethical issues, the adequacy of oversight as well as the applicability and validity of data, and scientific conclusions drawn from diverse patient populations.

This paper highlights some core ethical principles and milestones in medical research, and, from an industry perspective, it discusses ethical issues that the clinical trial team may face when conducting Multiregional Clinical Trials (MRCT, clinical trials conducted at sites located across multiple geographic regions of the world). This paper further highlights the areas of consensus and controversies and proposes points to consider. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.